In an exclusive interview with SME Times, Advit Sahdev, CEO & Founder, ODigMa, an online digital marketing company said it is important to have clear marketing goals in order to be successful in branding on social media platforms.
Excerpts of the interview...
What kind of innovative solutions do you offer SMEs to promote business in social networking sites?
Advit Sahdev: ODigMa offers innovative solutions for companies to connect with consumers on the web. It helps brands listen to consumers online and engage in meaningful conversations with them. It combines an understanding of online marketing with creative and technology skills and builds digital brands. Today, the company has taken leadership positions in areas such as social applications, conversation platforms, influencer engagement programmes, Facebook fans management and engagement, goal conversions amongst others.
How many SMEs are aware of this useful tool for generating ample business?
Advit Sahdev: Very few. Based on our experience in dealing with SMEs, they still follow traditional ways of marketing / advertising and do not really understand the power of social media for SMEs. Even if they know a little bit, they are not aware of the benefits, the measurement tools and the differences between the tools and how to leverage them for various business goals.
Could you tell us more about your services and products tailored for SMEs?
Advit Sahdev: At ODigMa we offer the following services customized for SMEs:
- Facebook End to End Management
- Google Adwords
- Search Engine Optimization
- Video Production and promotion
- Social CRM
- End to End Social Media management and consultancy
You also conducted a survey recently which shared statistics to make Facebook page more effective. Can you tell our readers more about it?
Advit Sahdev: Social media websites today present an invaluable platform for brands to reach out to customers, connect with people on a more personal level and get to know what works and what doesn't with the audience. While marketers understand the importance of such a channel that now accounts for 1 in every 7 minutes spent online, many are challenged to quantify its effectiveness. On Facebook specifically, the first thing a brand does is to create a fan base on their brand page. Next, to make full use of their presence, brands engage with customers on a daily basis. Engaging with fan base however can be very tricky. Brands need to be careful about what to do and what to say. Even the language used needs to be carefully considered.
This is where ODigMa steps in. ODigMa started as a specialised firm focused on Facebook marketing solutions in 2010. The idea was to offer unique, innovative offerings that set new benchmarks for the Indian social media marketing industry.
This year, ODigMa studied the Facebook pages of over 400 brands for the several months and arrived at statistics which can make the Facebook page for a brand more effective.
- Surprisingly weekdays are the best to get likes on your page
- Maximum: 6-7:30 PM on weekdays
- Minimum Likes between: 9AM -11 AM
- Even for shares 3:30-5 PM on weekdays is when one sees maximum traction
- Minimum Shares between: 2 PM-4 PM
Pictures clearly speak louder than words. A post with a photo gets twice the number of likes as compared to a text post; and about 8 times more as compared to a post which is just a link. But, here is the clincher, a text post gets more Comments (about 1.5 times more) as compared to a post with pictures. Weekends are the best to have Interactions with users. Thursday is the worst day ensure that your posts have less than 20 characters, to get maximum likes ensure that your posts have more than 400 characters to get maximum shares.
SMEs face potential problem to promote their business as the traditional marketing or media is out of their reach. Is the online platform a much more trustworthy and effective tool for SMEs' promotional activities?
Advit Sahdev: According to eMarketer, the fastest growth in social networking this year will come from India, followed by Indonesia and China. With an increasing number of users registering on social media websites, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) can successfully use social media platforms to promote their business.
How SMEs are using Internet or are active in Worldwide web?
Advit Sahdev: As part of this study, ODigMa has revealed invaluable insights on how SMEs in India use social media platform. SMEs understand that Facebook is the number one platform they need to focus on (unless they are B2B) and keep more than 80% of their social media marketing efforts on Facebook. They focus on special offers and promotions to kick-start their campaigns. They understand the importance of immediate ROI and thus are less focused on pure branding. Their key campaign objectives are sales, traffic/footfalls, influencer base creation, and buzz & branding. SMEs focus on extremely relevant fan base. They target fans by location, age, gender, interests and preferably by organic means. Thus, they pay keen attention to each and every comment / enquiry / complaint that they receive on their social media channels. They are very particular about keeping each and every fan / follower extremely happy.
How popular is Facebook as an online platform to promote business?
Advit Sahdev: Facebook is an extremely successful and popular platform to promote business. It is a great platform to initiate a cost-effective way to interact with consumers. Through Facebook you can reach out to your target audiences easily. Facebook has changed the way marketers think. But before you begin your social media campaign with Facebook, you need to define a few things. You need to get clarity on what you want out of it. Do you want Marketing Awareness or Customer Acquisition or Market Feedback. It is only after deciding on your marketing goal that you choose your marketing tool which could either be facebook or youtube or something else. Lastly the most important thing--measuring your campaigns. You should identify and use analytic tools to ensure that you get an effective ROI.
Do you follow any unique strategy to promote business online? Please share with us...
Advit Sahdev: We follow a unique strategy, i.e. we implement unique and customized solutions for each and every business. Social media works best when you focus on your strong points and your USPs. There is no standard formula for success and that is why we focus on customized solutions. There are some businesses who have a need of immediate transactions, others are there to build a brand, some focus on building a loyal customer base and some focus on word of mouth publicity. Every one has a different need and every one thus deserve a different solution.
Is online promotion an effective way to build brand today?
Advit Sahdev: Yes, it definitely is. But the most important points to take care of are: perseverance and focus on numbers. Companies that don't succeed on social media or online marketing are the ones who give up without proper testing which happens due to lack of commitment.
(Namrata Kath Hazarika can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)